Wednesday, July 30, 2008


I'm tired, I'm angry, and I stink of fear and coffee. Welcome to the happy place.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Thirty-four Years Old: Ho-Hum

Yes, Mr Moose is another year older today. Thirty-four whole years on this planet Earth. What have I learned?
1. Nothing is ever as good as They say it is.
2. Moral relativism is useless.
3. You can't judge a book by its cover but you can judge a book by its first sentence.
4. Everyone is making it up as they go along.
5. You always have a choice.
6. I am incapable of saying anything real.

Good night folks!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Miles Davis vs David Eggers

I'm tired of literary disappointment. In every recent novel I've picked up, the writing is more concerned with drawing attention to itself than with telling a good story. I keep wondering if the writer is waiting for me to say, "You're SOOOOO clever! Look at the clever little writer!" I know writers are needy people (trust me, I know), but dammit, they still have a job to do. Just tell me a story, you bastards. Give me some characters I'll love and remember, give me some gestures and sentences to roll around in my head. Don't give me your precious little premises and your narrative quirks. Don't give me your writerly asides and your plotless plots. And above all, do not give me your oh-so-forcefully ambiguous endings! What's so wrong with a damn story arc? You think you know better than Aristotle?! Oh, I get it. Too commercial, too predictable. No, you write literary novels. Literary meaning here, "without a beginning, middle, and end".

Okay, before I start really ranting, I'd getter get back to specifics. Several months ago, I started reading some wonderful hype about "Atmospheric Disturbances", by Rivka Galchen. It's about a psychiatrist who is treating a man who believes he is a secret agent of the Royal Meteorological Society. This man goes missing just as the psychiatrist becomes convinced that his wife has been replaced with a perfect look-alike. The book follows his wonderful descent into oblivious insanity, told through his delightfully droll self-analysis.

Fifty or so pages in, I began to wonder how much time I really have on this planet and how I should best use that limited resource. This led me to recall the advice my freshman English teacher gave me. He said that every time you write something down, you should read it over and ask yourself, "So what?" As an analytical tool, it will force you to keep thinking over your positions and assumptions. As an editing tool, it will force you to question whether anyone else will want to read the crap you've been putting onto paper. Did Galchen ask herself this question? I don't know. But I did. Then I stopped reading her book.

I need some real writing in my life. Crafted storytelling. I've had enough of these posers and stylists. I want to enjoy contemporary fiction. Somebody help me!